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Aussie input ongoing for global Mustang

All the horses: Ford Australia has been confirmed as one of six global design centres to be involved in shaping the next Mustang muscle car.

Ford Australia design chief confirms ongoing role in development of all-new Mustang

Ford logo22 Oct 2012

By TERRY MARTIN

FORD Australia will continue to play a key role in the design of the new-generation Mustang as the highly anticipated redesigned pony car – which is a global program that will include right-hand-drive markets – heads towards production around 2015.

Ford Asia Pacific and Africa design director Chris Svensson, who heads the Australian-based regional design studio, said each of the company’s six design studios outside the US continued to have a hand in the next Mustang.

The Australian team submitted design ideas for the all-new muscle car before Ford’s North American studio assumed the lead role in developing the production model.

However, that has not meant that its involvement has ended, with Mr Svensson confirming at the Sydney motor show last week that Australia and other studios were still working on the program.

“All the studios have been involved in this car,” said Mr Svensson.

“It’s one of those programs that we’re so excited about, and we all want to ensure that it is successful, and therefore we all have an opinion and we all want to have a little bit of input.”

27 center imageLeft: Ford Asia Pacific and Africa design director Chris Svensson.

Mr Svensson said Ford’s global design chief J Mays has a senior design leadership team that comes together every two months to review all the global vehicles that the company is designing worldwide, including Mustang.

“As a design organisation senior management team, we review all of those products, we give our input, and the local team that are actually the manufacturer will take the input from the global design directors,” he said.

“Our impact from the Australian design studio has been pretty global.

“We’ve got a fantastic team in the design studio here, great talent, and some of our designers and some of our ideas have actually made it into many of the global products that you’ll see in the coming years.” Mr Svensson said the Mustang program was on track and that Australians “are going to love it”.

“It’s going to deliver a stunning, stunning car, and I think you’ll see influences in that car from all of our studios,” he said.

“Even though it’s based out of North America, and that’s where the design was executed, I think you’ll see when it’s revealed the influences of many of the other studios throughout the globe.

“The car was done specifically to build on the heritage of Mustang, and I’m sure that the Australian customers are going to absolutely adore it.” While he hastened to add “if or when it comes here”, last month’s confirmation of right-hand-drive production for the next Mustang from Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, and the high level of interest in the model in this country, all but guarantees its sale through the official Ford Australia network.

Mr Svensson said he was acutely aware “just how passionate they are here in Australia about Mustang” with first-hand experience from owners and having seen a large number of Mustangs converted to right-hand drive on the road.

Australian rear-wheel-drive engineering expertise is also understood to be feeding into the next-generation Mustang program.

Ford Australia’s E8 (Falcon/Territory RWD platform) vehicle line director Dave Wilkinson told GoAuto in Sydney last week that “there’s a huge amount of functional alignment” between engineers in Australia and the US.

“Chassis engineers here are in constant contact with the chassis engineers in America and in Europe and around the world,” he said.

“Our expertise (in rear-wheel-drive vehicles) is embedded in the Ford DNA, in the Ford targets around the world.

“It’s very much an interconnected, functionally aligned Ford now – very different to what it was 15 years ago.”

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